Speaking ASQAneese – Part 3

Speaking ASQAneese – Part 3   This article is the third instalment of our article series on understanding the language of ASQAneese. Over the last 12 months ASQA has significantly changed its audit model to utilise audit meetings to interrogate providers with scripted questions that they provide no advanced warning of. Receiving these questions without […]


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Speaking ASQAneese – Part 2

Speaking ASQAneese – Part 2   This article is the second instalment of a three part article series on understanding the language of ASQAneese. ASQAneese is an important language in the lexicon of VET regulation. Whilst ASQAneese uses English as its foundation, it draws on the tones, stress and rhythm of high order bureaucracy and […]


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Speaking ASQAneese – Part 1

Speaking ASQAneese – Part 1   Have you recently found yourself sitting on a Teams meeting with an ASQA Auditor and they are going through a series of questions that you are just dumbfounded by? Its like, they ask the question, and you think to yourself – She is definitely speaking English but I have […]


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Guide to ASQA Audit Process

Guide to ASQA Audit Process   For about the last two years, ASQA has dramatically changed the way that it undertakes their audits of providers. They now call it a “performance assessment” which in my view is just an extension of woke madness where we try and soften things up to make people feel better […]


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Perceptions and Status of VET Inquiry

Inquiry into the Perceptions and Status of Vocational Education and Training   On 30 November 2022, the Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, referred the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training to commence an inquiry into the perceptions and status of vocational education and training. We made our submission […]


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RTO Standards Review – Our Feedback

On 27th October 2022, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations released the draft revised RTO Standards for review and invited feedback. The Department is seeking feedback by the 31st January 2023 (in only 12 days from the publication of this article). The Department have provided an online survey to capture this feedback and have provided the following document for review to inform the feedback.


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Course Design – Part Three – The Analysis

In part three of this article series on course design, we dive into the Analysis of the course requirements including analysing the target learner, the workplace requirements and the training package requirements.


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Course Design – Part Two – The TD Process

In part two of this article series on course design we take a look at the training development process of Analyse, Design, Develop, Deliver and Evaluate.


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Course Design – Part One – Unit Structuring

In this first article, I talk about the past to understand how we got to this point in our national training framwork. I will also explain the three basic structure options for designing a competency based course.


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Enrolment Models and Considerations

Enrolment Models and Considerations   When I begin working with a client to develop a course offering, one of the very first considerations I raise is the enrolment model that is best suited to the course delivery. It is such an important early consideration and it is amazing to me that there doesn’t seem to […]


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Newbery Compliance Quiz

Are you a guru in RTO compliance? It’s time to put yourself to the test and take the Newbery Compliance Quiz. This 10 question quiz will be refreshed once each fortnight with new random questions drawn from a bank of over 150 questions and growing. Test your knowledge and understanding of RTO compliance. The quiz is time limited and you have only 4 minutes, which is actually heaps of time if you know your stuff. Good luck.


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A systems approach to RTO self-assurance

A systems approach to RTO self-assurance   There is an increasing demand from clients and others in the sector who are wanting to establish a system of self-assurance within their RTO. This interest is in response to messaging by ASQA encouraging providers to adopt a self-assurance approach to the management of their RTO operation. ASQA […]


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Observation Assessment

I spend a lot of time talking to clients about their observation assessments. It blows me away that this single topic is so fundamental to the core services that we provide as practitioners in vocational education and training and is also not well understood. It is by far one of the most common non-compliances that I see on a regular basis in both the work that we do, the audit reports generated by the national regulator and funding authorities.


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ASQA’s new Regulatory Practices

ASQA’s new Regulatory Practices Published Last week the national regulator released its revised regulatory practices model (click). This includes a revised approach for assessing RTO performance, for responding to non-compliance and for the review of decisions where required. Overall, the changes look consistent with the pathway ASQA has been on now for the last 12 […]


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RTO Registration Checklist

Registering an RTO is a complex undertaking. There are many requirements in the application evidence which rely on in-depth knowledge and experience in RTO compliance for a successful RTO registration. My strong recommendation is to get some experienced advice, keep your application as simple as possible and be prepared to provide evidence of your readiness to deliver your nominated courses on request. Do not submit the application until you are ready. We have prepared this checklist to provide you a guide in navigating the RTO Registration process from start to finish.


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Equivalent Vocational Competency

One of, if not the most subjective compliance issues that we encounter is how RTOs and auditors consider the concept of equivalent vocational competency.

What is equivalent vocational competency and what clause does it relate to? Let’s start with the second question first to put things in context. Clause 1.13 a) of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 requires the following:


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Fees Paid in Advance

I have noticed a spike in audit outcomes that include findings in relation to fees paid in advance. I have also received an increased number of questions from clients about the rules relating to students paying fees in advance of services being delivered particularly in relation to the shift toward virtual service delivery. I recently put together a fairly extensive email in response to a client request for clarification and have used some of that guidance to put together this article.


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RTO Change of Ownership

On the 31st October 2019, the National Regulator implemented a new policy relating to the change of ownership of an existing RTO. I have had an opportunity  to review the new self-assessment document and guide and have put together this article to explain the requirements to those considering the purchase or sale of an RTO.


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RTO Set Up Cost

A question that I am asked regularly is, what is the cost of setting up an RTO? It is a good question to ask early before you get too far down the track in the process. It is a super complicated question to answer. I sometimes think that potential clients asking me that question just want a simple answer like “$80,000”. It is just not possible to actually answer the question accurately without giving consideration to many factors.


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The Amount of Training – Part Three

Ok, this is our final installment on our amount of training series. I have to say that the feedback we have received about this blog series has been quite overwhelming. I really do appreciate the great feedback that people have sent through. The repose demonstrates to me that providers out there are searching for answers and guidance on this stuff in plain language.


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The Amount of Training – Part Two

Back in September last year, I posted – The Amount of Training – Part One. If you haven’t read that, then it is worthwhile reading part one before you dive into this article. This article is going to focus on the important factors that relate to how to describe your volume of learning in your training and assessment strategy.


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Change to scope applications – Dangerously easy!

Resource requirements for change to scope applications – Dangerously easy! In December 2018, the National VET Regulator released its first general direction in two a half years. In this post, I will talk about this new general direction and I will also talk about the changes the regulator has made to the process for submitting […]


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The Amount of Training – Part One

Put your hand up if you are confused about what ASQA expect with regard to the “amount of training” you allocate to a course. Ok, I thought so. You can all put your hands back down. I find this concept of the “amount of training” to be one of the most confused requirements in the VET sector.


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The Training and Assessment Strategy

The Training and Assessment Strategy   The national regulator has identified the minimum requirements that must be presented in the RTO’s training and assessment strategies. The following information is a summary of this advice with additional commentary from Newbery Consulting on the recommended content and structure of your training and assessment strategies: Strategies for training […]


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RTO Application Evidence Requirements

The application for initial registration requires specific evidence to be uploaded to accompany the application. All of this evidence must be fully prepared and compliant before it is submitted to the regulator. The regulator will undertake a desk audit on this evidence and will determine how they progress with the application based on this initial desk audit. It is critically important that this evidence is fully developed and compliant.


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Identifying “Educational and Support Services” as Third-Party Arrangements

In early 2018, Newbery Consulting started to see a trend in client enquiries in respect of meeting their obligations to notify the national regulator of third-party arrangements as required under the standards and clause 8.3. This trend included clients seeking advice about determining what education support services constitute a third-party arrangement.


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Release of – TAE40116

On the 6th April 2016 the new TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Click Here) was released. It is a very different qualification to its predecessor. It is not equivalent to begin with so that means that the 716 RTOs with TAE40110 on their scope will loose it in 12 months and will need to apply to have the new qualification added to scope.


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CEO Annual Declaration – Here we go!

I have been getting many questions about the approaching requirement for RTO Chief Executive Officers to submit an annual declaration to the National Regulator about their compliance. The declaration is due by the 31st Mar 2016 (see here) for the details on the ASQA website.


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Audit Tool – Standards for RTOs 2015

This audit tool is the result of development and review over the past 4 months by lead consultants within Newbery Consulting. The criteria we have provided within each standard and clause go directly to the core of evaluating compliance and are presented in plain language. Where relevant, clauses have been combined within the tool to aid in their review and to assist RTOs to make sense of the standards which are so fragmented. Additional criteria have also been added which Newbery Consulting consider to be important in any internal audit and particularly when preparing for a regulatory audit.


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What you need to know – 2015 Standards for RTOs

The new RTO standards were released yesterday (21 Oct 2014). They come into effect for all existing RTOs on April Fools’ Day 2015 (1st April 2015). Funny! You can access all the information at the VET reform website at the following link:


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VET Advisory Board – Ten Point Action List

As you may be aware, we have our new VET Advisory Board as of the 15th Aug 2014. See here for more details:

I thought it would be helpful to give them a helping start, so we have decided to give them a ten point action list to assist them to focus their attention right from the get-go. Here it is:


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Review of revised RTO and VET Regulator Standards

Well,, here we go again! We have new standards to review and comment on. Do you know since 2005, we have changed the standards for RTOs four times. This will make five resulting in an average of every 2 years. So, every two years we change the standards by which we regulate our VET providers! Seriously, when I started that sentence, I didn’t think it would sound so bad, but there it is, every 2 years! Why do we do this to ourselves? Can we honestly say that we have experienced incremental improvement every time we have revised our regulatory standards. Some would say that the standard of training and assessment in Australia has eroded over this period and whilst that has occurred we have burdened ourselves with ever changing rules and regulations.


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VET Fee Help – Under attack!

I just want to highlight my concern about the current trend of the VET Fee Help market. For those not aware, VET Fee Help is a funding program that allows students to effectively take out a loan with the Federal Government to help pay their tuition fees. VET Fee Help is not new and has now been operating since 2009. A student can only access VET Fee Help via an approved training provider (so, an RTO approved for VET Fee Help).


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VET Reform – Have your say!

Ok, so the VET Reform Taskforce is currently doing their work and has called for submissions from industry participants to inform their review of the VET Sector. Just for the record, here is my three point plan for the reform of the VET Sector.


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Recording Assessment Evidence

For a while now I have wanted to provide this blog on the requirements relating to the recording of assessment evidence. The first thing to note is that there is nothing new about the requirement to adequately record assessment evidence and assessment decisions. Assessors have always been required to record their judgement of competency in order for a unit of competency to be issued.


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Satisfaction Data – It’s free!

With effect of the 1st December 2011, the National Skills Standards Council released a Special Bulletin informing RTOs that they were no longer required to use the SMART database supplied by the Australian Centre for Educational Research (ACER).


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Renewal – Evidence Guide

This document has been produced by Newbery Consulting to act as a guide to the type of audit evidence and questions an RTO will be expected to respond to during a renewal or registration audit. The guide covers evidence relating to the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2011 and specifically the Essential Standards for Continuing Registration (SNR 15-25).


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RTO Registration – Part 3 – The Essential Ingredients

I think it is necessary to first consider the broader requirement before getting down to the detail of registering an RTO. What is required and do I really have the necessary items to make it successful? This is a big question and this blog is intended to provide the answer.


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QLD Transition – Can they do it?

Well, we have an interesting first six months ahead for the VET sector. Of particular note is the looming transition of regulation in Tasmania and South Australia to ASQA. ASQA has certainly geared up for this and the number of RTOs involved in those States (on a national level) is quite small. QLD on the […]


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Welcome to our new site

This is our new site. It is similar to our previous site but has loads more functionality and indexing capability. We have also built a better structure to display our products and services and put forward our new branding in our RTO products. This is a big shift for Newbery Consulting as we define the services we provide and give information to current and perspective clients to enable them to make the right decision.


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